Wednesday, September 27, 2006


Don't litter in Washington

We're in Idaho now, about to light out toward Yellowstone. Before we get to our impressions of the Gem State, there's one last thing about Washington.

Several times we encountered signs along the freeway with this menacing message: “LITTER AND IT WILL HURT.” These weren’t billboards. They were official Washington State road signs making unclear promises about the consequences for tossing a Burger King wrapper out the window.

“Maybe the sign was designed by environmentalists, and they didn’t realize the last part got cut off,” Val said. “‘Litter and it will hurt the earth.’”

“Or maybe the state is run by the mafia,” I said.

Turns out it’s actually a focus group-tested campaign to reach the people who do litter. The sad truth is that they found the best way to do it is to emphasize the penalty: hefty fines for those who get reported and caught. So think twice before you toss that cigarette out the window on I-90, you sociopath. It could cost you lots of money.

Next up: IDAHO!

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